ICYMI: E&C Republicans and Technology and Cybersecurity Experts Renew Calls for Comprehensive Data Privacy Protections

House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy Rodgers (R-WA) and other committee members held an Innovation, Data, and Commerce Subcommittee hearing last week to address strengthening American data privacy protections. The subcommittee heard from technology and cybersecurity experts about the need for comprehensive data privacy protections and one national standard to ensure Americans’ information is protected from the Chinese Communist Party.

Hearing highlights below:


“We must work together to cement America’s global technological leadership. We should start by passing comprehensive privacy and data security protections with one national standard. We made history last year when we passed the bipartisan, bicameral American Data Privacy and Protection Act 53-2. But our work isn’t over yet, as we have already fallen behind other countries in establishing a national privacy law. I’m eager to continue this work. This is a top priority for Americans and needs to be achieved through Congress.” — Chair Rodgers

“It is imperative that this committee establishes foundational frameworks for deploying emerging technologies. We came close last Congress when we passed the bipartisan and bicameral American Data Privacy and Protection Act, but this Congress we need to ensure it gets across the finish line because China is not waiting on us to influence international norms and standards.” — Innovation, Data, and Commerce Subcommittee Chair Gus Bilirakis (R-FL)


“Republicans on this committee are fully committed to passing a comprehensive federal privacy and data security standard. We are committed to that China is actively using U.S. customer data to better develop their AI, whether through mining, scraping, purchasing data through third parties, or through apps like TikTok—whose sharing information with the Chinese Communist Party.” — Innovation, Data, and Commerce Subcommittee Vice Chair Tim Walberg (R-MI)

“The goal that I think [ADPPA] achieves is that it both manages to address the transnational threat from a range of bad actors, but also protects consumers and secures that data here at home... We want to both address bad foreign actors and better enhance privacy protections at home. This is the baseline that we need. In terms of fostering innovation, as I’ve mentioned, U.S. firms need access to global data flows, but how do we do that in a safe, secure, and ethical way? We establish high baselines around how the data is collected, transferred, and retained. And that’s the balance I think US federal privacy law needs to strike.” — Sam Sacks, Cyber Policy Fellow, International Security Program, New America

“Data in itself is essential. We need it for our economy. We need it for innovation. The issue is when it falls in the hands of adversarial nations and malicious actors, which we see happening on a second-by-second basis with China, unfortunately. That’s something I implore this Congress to address. I think the best way to do that is by enacting a comprehensive data privacy and security law today... Every second we wait is just more data that the CCP is collecting and potentially exploiting against Americans... I think it is just paramount that this is a key priority and is done without delay.” — Brandon Pugh, Policy Director and Resident Senior Fellow, R Street Institute


“As a mother and a grandmother, I’m deeply concerned about the ways TikTok is manipulating our children. I’ve seen the reports detailing that China’s version of TikTok offers a kid-friendly version with educational videos, learning tools, and time limits set on what the children look at. Then you come over here and you see the opium version, which addicts our children.” — Rep. Diana Harshbarger (R-TN)

“Representative Harshbarger alluded to the fact that in China, on TikTok, children 14 and younger are limited to 40 minutes. In the United States they have the algorithms set to do shorter videos that are meant to create dopamine hits in your brain. There was a survey done between the United States and China of 14-year-olds asking what is the most aspirational career you want to have. In the United States the number one answer was a social media influencer. In China they said they wanted to be an astronaut. If you want to look at the future of our two nations, start here.” — Rep. Kat Cammack (R-FL)